Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module ANTH44815: Field Trip

Department: Anthropology

ANTH44815: Field Trip

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap


  • None


  • ANTH44630 and ANTH44730

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to provide students with an opportunity to examine the practicalities of key contemporary energy interventions in the diverse UK energy situation
  • to provide students with an opportunity to research and analyse energy challenges, to map key UK energy actors, and to confront the realities of energy developments


  • Indicative module content includes preliminary academic activities and field-based activities. Field course activities will typically include visits to key energy sites in the UK, including discussions with site actors, guided tours of facilities, presentations and lectures from key personnel at the sites. Site may include core energy facilities, new and renewable energy installations, alternative energy experimental sites, distribution facilities, community energy projects. Field trip activities may also include policy discussions at government departments. Seminar and lecture topics will include: organisation of key energy facilities; technology combinations and their management; social context of energy development, past and present; policy practices for diverse energy facilities; economic, social, environmental and holistic perspectives on energy installations; the role of public, private and community actors in energy development. Students will build on the learning from the core modules MES1 and MES2, reflecting on the implications of and for practice, and considering the role of different research an analytical approaches. The study visit will last 5 days, with preparatory seminars and lectures in advance. Assessment is by Project Report, with project outline submitted prior to the study visit for formative feedback. Students will have to pay their own expenses for the study visit. Location of study visit to be decided depending on (a) risk assessment (b) security situation (c) staff availability. In the first instance, the study visit will be held in the UK, while the course team will explore the potential for an overseas visit in future years.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will have, by the end of the module:
  • an advanced understanding of the practical issues and effects of energy installations
  • an understanding of how the taught elements of the MSc are operationally applicable in contemporary energy contexts
  • an understanding of the methodologies used to study energy and society, and of the impact of our choice of methodology and conceptual framework on our understanding
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will be able, by the end of the module:
  • to employ a range of theoretical perspectives to analyse practical contemporary issues of energy and society
  • to illustrate social analysis of energy technologies with regard to specific cases
  • to engage in research projects at Masters level
Key Skills:
  • Students will be able, by the end of the module:
  • to demonstrate an ability to construct argument critically for both oral and written presentation from different sources of material, including material delivered orally and in an article, report or policy document
  • to demonstrate an independent approach to learning, critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • to use sophisticated techniques of information retrieval and management using an array of print and digital resources
  • to formulate complex arguments in articulate and structured English, within the discursive conventions and genres of academic writing and written to high academic standard
  • to demonstrate effective time management

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be delivered over set of introductory briefings (seminars/lectures) prior to a 5 day study visit. Students will also conduct self-guided learning to acquire relevant background knowledge of the site(s) to be visited. During the visit, students will learn through meetings with individuals and organisations, group discussions, reading and analysis of selected literature, and daily debriefs. Students will be assessed through a Project Report.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Study visit 1 Term 3 5 days 40
Preparation and reading Term 3 80
Analysis and report preparation Term 3 30
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Project Report 3000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Project outline 1000 words

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University